When on 22nd February Hollywood is preparing itself for attending the Red Carpet, Intellectual property Lawyers are scouring the nation for protecting the Brand Oscar!
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science have been alleging the receivers or the family members of the receivers of this prestigious award for violating the copyright of these gold statuettes. Being one of the biggest events related to Hollywood and motion pictures around the world, there has been commercialization of the Brand and lawyers from Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan are trying to filter it.
Tayback, one of the prominent lawyers of the team of Academy lawyers mention that Oscar is a national brand and is incredibly valuable. Hence, they need to protect this brand after 86 years of its creation from those who are using it for commercialization. This includes those individuals who are selling their family members’ awards received long back. The Oscar looks alike are also target as they are infringing the value of the iconic image.
The retailers, who were targeted by the Academy, are represented by Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell and their intellectual property department head Rod Berman mentions that if one arm is sticking out then the statuettes are most probably not infringing any brand. According to Berman, most of the cases settle down as someone selling $50000 merchandise cannot give legal fight with Academy. It’s not possible for them to defense the budget that Academy can pose.
Since 1986, Quinn Emanuel has been the Academy’s trademark and Copyright infringement firm. Their relationship began when David Quinto, one of the first attorneys of Quinn Emanuel represented Academy along with a private investigator. During the lunch hour, someone was stealing the handbags of the Secretaries. Hence, for catching the thief a private investigator was hired. This investigator noticed that many “fake Oscars” were sold in Hollywood and thus referred Quinn to Academy for dealing with this national brand infringement problem.
According to the 1951 provision of Contract among the recipient of the award and the academy, before selling the awards outside they need to offer the Academy for refusing it to buy at $1. For this, last year an Auction house was sued that sold the Oscar awarded to Joseph Wright in 1942, art director of Musical ‘My Gal Sal.’ Wright’s nephew, who inherited the award and the auction house who purchased the award, was sued.
However, according to the lawyers who represented the buyer said that the contract provision does not imply in this case. The compensatory damages were of $79200 that is the sale price of the Oscar. However, the case is not about money. Oscar is much above commerce and its prestige has to be maintained.